The Buffalo Sabres assigned top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to the Rochester Americans today, another step in his recovery from offseason hip surgery.
Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said last month he hopes Luukkonen can start playing games in early November. The Finn spent the early part of the season rehabbing in Buffalo.
When Luukkonen underwent surgery in April, the Sabres said he would need six months to recover.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Luukkonen is expected to be the Amerks’ No. 1 goalie. Veteran Andrew Hammond has started five of the AHL club’s first six games this season. Jonas Johansson has backed up Hammond.
Luukkonen briefly joined the Amerks late last season after a stellar junior campaign with the Sudbury Wolves in which he was named the Ontario Hockey League’s MVP and top goalie. He played one regular-season game with Rochester before having surgery.
The Sabres drafted Luukkonen in the second round in 2017, 54th overall. Last season was his first in North America.